Wednesday, June 15, 2016

You Snooze, You Win

Did you get enough sleep last night?

Studies show that at least 40 percent of Americans are sleep deprived.  In Arianna Huffington’s new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, she asserts that we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis. As a leader in the sleep revolution crusade, Huffington proclaims that the key to a more productive, joyful life is simply getting more sleep.

After collapsing from sleep deprivation and breaking her cheekbone on her desk, Huffington set out on a journey to study the sleep deprivation crisis. In The Sleep Revolution, Huffington explores the important role sleep plays in our lives, including the latest scientific studies and the history behind our dismissal of sleep. The scientific findings she includes are fascinating and provide a thorough explanation as to why sleep is vital to your health, creativity, productivity, and capacity to lead.  

“We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity,” she writes, “but, ironically, our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than eleven days of lost productivity per year per worker, or about $2,280.” While burning the midnight oil may make you feel like you’re getting ahead, it could be having a disastrous effect on your health and your business’s bottom line. At the Huffington Post, Huffington encourages her employees to unplug at night and has added nap rooms for them to use during the day. 

Huffington has proposed this manifesto—she calls it the Sleep Revolution Manifesto—to encourage the sleep revolution:

  1. Sleep is a fundamental and non-negotiable human need.
  2. Sleep allows us to see the world with fresh eyes and a reinvigorated spirit.
  3. We may be what we eat, but also, to be sure, we are how we sleep.  
  4. Exhaustion is a sign of chaos, not a badge of honor.
  5. A good day starts the night before. 
  6. We will treat ourselves as well as we treat our smartphones, making sure we sleep until fully recharged.
  7. A bedroom should be an oasis: a beautiful, relaxing escape from the demands of the day.
  8. We will usher our smartphones out of the bedroom when we go to bed.
  9. We will not drive if we are drowsy!
  10. We will choose “going-to-bed clothes,” not to be confused with “going-to-the-gym clothes.”  Pajamas, nightdresses, and even special T-shirts send a sleep-friendly signal to our bodies: time to shut down!
  11. We will choose sleep over busywork.
  12. When we walk through the door of our bedroom, we will leave the day—with all of its problems and unfinished business—behind.  

According to Huffington, sleep is not a luxury, but an important appointment to schedule on your calendar every day.  Even busy entrepreneurs need to make sure and catch some extra Z’s so they can recharge and be more successful, both personally and professionally.

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